Danvers, Massachusetts Police Department
|Taking steps to protect yourself from abuse may cause an increase in
the level or type of abuse or retaliation from your abuser. Please trust your instincts.
If you are afraid something may happen, take your feelings seriously and protect yourself.
You know your situation better than anyone else. We are only making suggestions that may
work in your situation.
1. Be alert when leaving the courthouse. If you have any reason to believe the defendant named in your restraining order may be waiting for you, please ask someone from the District Attorney's Victim/Witness Program to help you.
2. It may not be a good idea to go directly home. You may want to spend a few hours or a few days at a family or friend's home.
3. If there are any guns or weapons of any kind in your home, the Judge can order the abuser to surrender the guns, the license to carry the guns and the FID card. The police can search for and take custody of a gun or weapon if you request it and give them permission to search your home.
4. You may want to consider changing the locks on your home. The Judge can order the defendant to turn over the keys to your home and/or your car; or, the police may take the keys when the defendant is served with notice of the abuse prevention order. It may also be helpful to keep an extra set of keys for your car and home hidden in a safe place.
5. It is also suggested that you have extra copies of originals of important documents kept in a safe place. Documents would include license, birth certificate, social security numbers, bank account numbers and important phone numbers.
6. This is a very difficult and confusing time and it is not a good time
to be alone. Seek the company of supportive friends and family. You can call a Battered
Women's Hotline day or night for emergency services or shelter; or attend a battered
women's support group in the community. You do not have to seek shelter or be a resident
to receive support services from the battered women's shelter staff. The services are free
and may be very helpful to you at this time. Services are available through HAWC (Help for
Abused Women and Children) at
7. Inform your neighbors of the situation and let them know the defendant is not allowed on your property or near your apartment or house. Encourage them to call the police if they see the defendant or suspect something is wrong.
8. If the defendant appears, call the police immediately! Violation of the restraining order is a criminal offense. Sometimes it helps to dial the police and hang up before it rings, so that the re-dial button will automatically call the police if you need to call the police quickly.
9. If it is not safe for you to stay at your home, at a friend's or with family, there are shelters and "safe homes" available. HAWC can assist you in finding a safe place.
10. You may want to pack an emergency bag with clothes and needed items, (including toys for the kids) and hide them or give them to a friend or family member in case you need to leave your home quickly.
11. If the defendant is threatening to kidnap the children, consider sending them to a safe place with friends or family for a while.
12. Always keep a copy of your restraining order with you. If your
children are named in the order, give copies to the school, daycare, baby-sitter, etc..
Remember, that there are people who care about you and are concerned for
your safety and the safety of your children. We want to help you remain safe and free from
abuse. Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance.